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Alternative instruments for smoothing the consumption of primary commodity exporters


  • Kletzer, Kenneth M.
  • Newbery, David M.
  • Wright, Brian D.


Countries that depend on a single primary export for their foreign earnings are likely to experience sharp fluctuations in export earnings and their underlying wealth, because of the instability of all primary commodity markets. As part of structural adjustment, several countries have liberalized their trade regimes, so domestic producers are no longer insulated from international price fluctuations. This paper concentrates on the management of country-level consumption risk, and considers actions which the government might undertake to reduce the cost of that risk. The paper reviews the costs of export price instability, with some reference to the empirical magnitudes. It considers the role of conventional instruments, including loans, price stabilization measures, and futures contracts. Particular attention is paid to the potential use of futures rollovers for longer-term price protection, and the effect of production response on that protection. The paper also discusses"commodity bonds"and dynamic consumption smoothing paths and offers conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kletzer, Kenneth M. & Newbery, David M. & Wright, Brian D., 1990. "Alternative instruments for smoothing the consumption of primary commodity exporters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 558, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:558

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Albert Fishlow., 1987. "Lessons of the 1890s for the 1980s," Economics Working Papers 8724, University of California at Berkeley.
    15. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Everhart, Stephen & Duval-Hernandez, Robert, 2001. "Management of oil windfalls in Mexico : historical experience and policy options for the future," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2592, The World Bank.
    2. Larson, Donald F. & Varangis, Panos & Yabuki, Nanae, 1998. "Commodity risk management and development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1963, The World Bank.
    3. Alejandro Drexler & Eduardo Engel & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 2001. "El cobre y estrategia fiscal óptima para Chile," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Felipe Morandé & Rodrigo Vergara & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edit (ed.), Análisis Empírico del Ahorro en Chile, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 263-280 Central Bank of Chile.


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